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Navigating.de POI-Warner & Navigator Add-On

13th January 2003

 Reviewed by Dave Burrows

 Author's Website http://www.Navigating.de

 POI-Warner Price 19.90

 Navigator Add-On Price $4.99

 

Since TomTom have released their SDK (Software Development Kit) to developers, there have been many developers starting to create add-in products for TomTom Navigator to try and address the features that aren't already included which users are crying out for and to enhance upon the original Navigator features.  Markus Schwarzkopf of Navigating.de has produced two products to wet our appetites for a richer system.  Navigator Add-On and POI-Warner.

 

 

POI-Warner v1.01 for TomTom Navigator

As the name suggests, POI Warner does just that.  It will warn you of POI's as you approach them.

 

With POI Warner you can setup your own POI's and have these monitored within TomTom Navigator and alerted when you approach these.  Although it's ideal for Speed Camera use, it can be used for other items like being warned of where the next Petrol Station may be, or perhaps the next rest stop or restaurant.

 

POI-Warner is a lightweight application, requires very little memory to run and sits behind TomTom Navigator quite nicely. 

 

 

In the General Options screen, you can set POI-Warner to check for POI's at intervals of 0.75 seconds up to 2 seconds which will enable it to pick up and notify you of a new POI very quickly!  There is also a feature to fade in and fade out the visualisation on screen, and also Voice Navigation which can interrupt Navigator's Voice Navigation and play it's own BUZZER warning. 

 

POI-Warner won't use the standard POI's you have set up in your OV2 database within TomTom Navigator, but you can create your own OV2 database of POI's using other utilities on our downloads page to accomplish this.

 

 

Once you've created your own OV2 database using either DumpOV2 from TomTom or using one of Richard Davie's utilities on our downloads page, you can then get started.  We created our own OV2 file called UKSpeed and also copied our GATSO icon and renamed it to the same name UKSpeed.bmp giving us a GATSO like icon within TomTom Navigator (you'll see this later).  All OV2's you have in the POI-Warner directory will show up in the POI combo box allowing you to select the relevant POI database.  Once selected, you can set a whole host of options on how you will be notified.  Ranging from the First and Last warning in seconds that can be anything from 0 seconds to 30 seconds, and also the Detection Angle which will help in allowing POI-Warner to only notify you of POI's on the road you are on and not nearby roads.  With each warning type, you can set the WAV file to play, both on First and Last Warning and the option to only play this once.

 

 

You also have an option for the Speed Limit where you can set the Maximum setting near POI in KM/H with a seperate WAV file which can be good if most of the POI's you pass are GATSO's and they're on 50kph roads. 

 

Using POI-Warner

Once you've set the above options, POI-Warner will work it's magic.  Simply plot and drive your planned routes like you normally would do, but this time when you get close to a POI that  you've requested to be notified of, you will get a BUZZER style warning, and a visual notification on screen where the closer you get to the POI, the higher up the screen the pointer will get until you reach the red scale where you will be right on top of the POI.

 

POI-Warner doesn't clutter the screen up, everything within POI-Warner has been designed for simplicity, and it does work very well.

 

 

We've taken POI-Warner on a two week road test, and it has been proven to be very useful, always notifying you within a large enough distance, even when travelling at speed.  The only problem is that you do have to create your own OV2 (POI) database files, and this can be time consuming.  Some users will perhaps steer clear of this until enough POI files are out there which can be used, but for the GPS road warrior, this will be an invaluable tool!  We also have a huge amount of POI's available both on our TomTom Navigator POI page and our Downloads page.

 

 

New Features to arrive shortly for POI-Warner

Within the next few days we should see the release of v1.10 of POI-Warner which will double it's worth by adding many new and enhanced features including:-

  • pure .ov2 support (no need to convert the files to .asc any more)

  • integrated POI-Recorder (simply record your POIs when on the road by pressing the assigned hardware key)

  • POI-Manager, which enables you to manage all your POIs from the Pocket PC.

  • Importing and Exporting of .asc-files on your Pocket PC

  • Synchronizing-abilities for importing .ov2 or .asc files from friends or from other websites containing enhanced features to avoid duplicates.

The new updates will be free to all registered POI-Warner users, and the price will remain the same at 19.90 making this a great value product!

 

Navigator Add-On v2.14

Navigator Add-On is a program that allows you to integrate Pocket Outlook contacts into TomTom Navigator and PowerLOC Destinator 1.  What Add-On does is allows you to select various contacts out of your Pocket Outlook database to navigate to, and it will copy the address details and through a macro facility, take you into the Navigate features of TomTom Navigator PowerLOC Destinator and manually enter addresses using the first line of the address in your Pocket Outlook contact database and the city name.  This works very well, but you have to make sure that the first line of the address does have the road name you need to go to and not the house name, for

instance many businesses will have a house name like Bellevue House.  If you have this as the first line of the address field, then Add-On will unfortunately fail, providing you check all your addresses are formatted correctly, then you will find Add-On a very useful product.

 

When you run Add-On you're greeted with a very simple screen showing all the contacts in your address book.  Simply highlight the name, and click one of the buttons below to either Send Address to Navigator or to Start Navigator and Send Address, and that's it, pretty simple!

 

Add-On works very well, the only thing that did stump us was that not all of our contacts were showing in the database list on screen.  The reason for this was because we simply didn't have addresses listed for all of our contacts.  Add-On recognises this and excludes the contacts you don't have addresses for, making sure that if you do try to navigate to a contact, you're going to get it right.  One thing to bear in mind, and this is no fault of Add-On, but in the UK, TomTom do have a lot of place names/cities not included in the geodata, so sometimes planning a route isn't always possible, and this will of course trip up Add-on.  You will also have problems navigating to some of these addresses anyway, so sometimes you do have to resort to a point and click scenario of plotting a destination in TomTom Navigator.

 

Conclusion

Both Navigator Add-On and POI-Warner are essential features and shows you just what every TomTom Navigator user is missing.

 

Navigator Add-On retails for a remarkable $4.99 and POI-Warner retails for 19.90 euros (about $21), so for a total price of $25.99) you have both an Outlook contact integration into TomTom Navigator and a great POI Detection and Alert program!

If you have any questions regarding POI-Warner, why not visit the TomTom Navigator forum.

 

Please note, like many of our reviews written prior to WM2003 (July 2003), this review was written prior to WM2003 and this version has not been tested under WM2003.

 

Conclusion

Author's Website

http://www.Navigating.de

Pocket GPS Reviewer

Dave Burrows

Pocket GPS Reviewer Website

Dave Burrows.com

Overall Rating 86%

 

 

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